Model Engine Ignitions

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74Sprint

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I saw that one on Amazon after I bought mine and thought I should have gotten that one. Oh well but, it's not a majour tool for me just something handy for doing quick checks. I see that one had a better review than mine and it sells anywhere from $44 - $56 CAD depending on the options, funny how they have the same screens and buttons. They are better than lugging around a old 10kg scope. :)

Cheers
Ray
 

74Sprint

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Timing pulses:
Until I get a timing wheel put together with magnets it will be hard to show the auto advance of the trigger pulses.
I setup the CD4047B to show the difference between the fixed timing pulse (leading edge) and the auto advance (trailing edge) using just my hand.
Before I go further I want to explain that the actual timing and it's accuracy depends on 3 things; 1 the strength of the magnet, 2 the sensitivity of the Hall-effect, and 3 the distance of the Hall-effect to the magnet. If all these 3 stay the same then setting the timing it should remain constant. I have found and I'm sure people using Hall-effects on here also have found that with the crank moving back and forth can cause the timing to skip around a bit. I find that on a brand new engine with brand new crank ignition the timing is pretty much stable but as the parts wear the timing starts to skip around a bit. Now passing a magnet back and forth past the Hall-effect with my hand there is no way I can duplicate a running engine, my hand is simply not fast enough or consistent enough. But I have a couple of pictures to show you.

web trailing 2.jpg
web trailing 1.jpg

I know it's hard to see but if you look at the trailing edge you can see that the edge has moved a little to the left which, would mean that the timing has advanced. How much well it's about 4usec. Which if you do the math......
Lets take an engine (2 or 4 stroke it doesn't matter) running at say 5,000 RPM so
5,000 / 60 = 83.33 RPM per sec.
1/83.33 = 0.012sec. per RPM
0.012/360 = 0.0000334sec per degree or 33.4usec per degree.
So changing pulse width by 4usec with my hand which, is about 200 RPM it will advance the timing by about 1/8 of a degree. This change will become more evident (larger change) when I use a timing wheel with more speed and my big scope, with 2 channels and better triggering.

I did find out with the scope that my dwell was 40msec which is more than the small coils could handle. I adjusted that down to 2msec and will start testing different coil driver components. Also I found that the the leading edge timing (fixed) stayed pretty much rock solid as best as I could with my hand. So things look promising.

cheers
Ray
 

74Sprint

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I finally found some time to get to the auto-wreckers and got 4 different types of ignition coils, all 12 volt. I tested the coils for strength along with some different types of IGBTs, MOSFETs, and some transistors. I didn't actually measure the voltage or current outputs from the coils so I don't know the joule outputs. I hate when they measure coil outputs in joules or watts because those measurements mean nothing and is just a marketing ploy. There is no difference if I have 1,000 [email protected] amp per second or 1 [email protected],000 amps per second the wattage/joules is the same. But the 1,000 volts will jump a gap easier than 1 volt.

Except for the Ford coil where I used just the NGK plug, I used a 349 ohm ignition cable with the Dodge and old style GM coils, the LS1 cable had 354 ohms, and the plug I used for all testing was a NGK UR6GP sparkplug with 4.4K ohms.

The charging devices I ended up using for the most testing:
STGF3NC120HD 7 A, 1200 V very fast IGBT with ultrafast diode QTY 1 UNIT PRICE $2.45000 v-good spark
IPP25N06S3L-22IN-ND IPP25N06S3L-22 MOSFET N-CH 55V 25A TO220-3 good but obsolete

I usually don't like using transistors because the cheaper ones are usually slow, can't handle the power both switching or higher duty cycles. They are also harder to get the biasing right. Yes they do make transistors that can handle problems but they also cost a lot more. So that leaves us IGBTs and MOSFETs to play with. IGBTs are basically BJTs (Bipolar Junction Transistor) mated to a MOSFET. The MOSFET handles the base biasing and current of the BJT. This makes it easier to turn the transistor on but, makes it harder to turn off. Sometimes but not all the time you need to bring the gate voltage negative or below zero to turn it off. Most of my IGBTs were like that and only the STGF3NC120HD I had worked with zero turn off volts and had fast switching that could handle the inductive loads. The EMI from the coils didn't seem to bother it also, I guess because of the wire resistance. The IPP25N06S3L-22 MOSFET I have also worked well but, not quite as good as the IGBT. The spark colour was good but not as fat. As I said all the coils below were 12 volt, so they didn't work at 5 volts.

12v Coils tested:
  1. DODGE 1998-2003 RAM 1500 PICKUP Primary 1.1k ohms Secondary 12.92k ohms V-Good spark
    1. SKP SKIC522 {#56027966, 56028172, 56028172AB} STANDARD MOTOR PRODUCTS UF198T CAD$8.68
  2. LS1 used from 1999-2007, coil blacks (-) red (+) blue (sig) CAD$17.94 to CAD$121.24 excellent spark without using a transistor but 12 volts is required
    1. Found mostly on SILVERADO 1500 4.8-6.0L
  3. GM 4 WIRE old style COIL GM 1985-1994 Primary 0.45 ohms Secondary 8k ohms STANDARD MOTOR PRODUCTS DR37T CAD$14.03 Good spark
  4. FORD 2.3L FORD FOCUS 2003-2011 coil on plug Primary 0.6 ohms Secondary 5.4k ohms CAD$9.57 good spark
  5. 3 different CDI coils had spark but very weak. These coils usually need between 100-120 primary volts to work.
The Dodge coil to me was the best overall for price and performance. The problem with it though is getting a new connector which was $23 CAD so best to get a coil and pig-tail from the wreckers or just a pig-tail. You can also use 2 small width female blade (red) connectors and glue them in. I don't see why people talk about the Ford COP being so good. It uses a long spring to contact the sparkplug, I guess one could solder a lead onto it after cutting it down. The Ford COP also has an inductor built into the spring for noise suppression. The old style GM 4 wire split connector that secures from the top was ok. This coil along with the Ford COP would make good coils for a CDI ignition. The GM LS1 smart coil was the easiest to hook up and make work and it had the best spark overall. This is probably because it has the transistor built right into it but, using just the Hall-effect wasn't strong enough to trigger it. More testing needed. This LS coil was also the most expensive and it has a pencil point projection for the coil wire to attach but, if you squeeze down on a normal coil wire female terminal you can make it work. So if your going to get one from the auto wrecker make sure to grab the coil connector and a plug wire. It is very easy to get this coil working just a few simple components is all that is needed. And it will work with either points or Hall-effect.

I was disappointed by the Ford coil's spark until I measured the secondary coil and found it was on the small side. I'm not sure but, I think if I were going to use 12 volts and wanted a simple ignition I would probably go with the LS1 smart coil from the auto wreckers. The current draw when not firing is just 23ma avg. 19-25ma range so this is excellent. If I were building a multi cylinder distributorless engine I would go with it. But the LS1 smart coil does present me with a bit of a problem and that is deciding if I should go with an TCI or CDI distributorless ignition for my race car. The LS1 Smart Coil Will Not Work With a CDI Setup.

Did you notice that no where have I ever mentioned a ballast resistor? Well that's because my circuit doesn't need one, it has adjustable dwell. For this testing I turned the dwell up to 3msec. to be fair on the testing. On every car that I have worked on that used a ballast resistor except the Fords with the built-in coil resistor, a stupid idea, bypassed the ballast resistor/wire during starting. This gave full voltage and current during starting to the coil and this would fall back when you let the key go.

Hall-effect triggering is based on it's Gauss value. What this means is that if you use a H-e with a gauss of 50 it will turn on sooner than with one that has a gauss of 350. In real life this means that if you use a strong magnet the H-e could turn on when the magnet is 2" away instead of a 1/4" away. On a small diameter wheel this would matter a lot and most likely drive you nuts trying to time the engine. I ordered and tried about 8 different Hall-effects and the one I like the most is the A1102EUA-T by Allegro, it's easy to find, popular, and is fairly cheap. I would like to find one that does have a higher gauss trigger point that is just as easy to get as the A1102.

Next up is to make a spinning timing wheel and some movies.

Cheers
Ray
 
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dsage

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Steve:
Show us a movie of your GIANT spark plug.
LOL
 

stevehuckss396

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Here you go. It's a 4x scale model of a champion 3x. They would be found in the ford model a among many other engines from the 20's and 30's.

 

74Sprint

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The simplest ignition I can come up with besides points.
Just a quick update on the LS1 smart coil and driver board. I tested the coil a bit more and the required driver components. It will work with just a Hall-effect but it's not consistent. To correct this a PNP transistor is needed to drive the spark signal. The signal drives a transistor inside the coil so more current is needed. I went to a 1K ohm pullup resistor and I don't want to go below that because the Hall-effect or most of them can only handle 20ma of current. I could go down to 600ohms for 20ma. I did notice that just like older GM designs it needs to see a positive going pulse to trigger. The board is 17mm wide and 26mm long. C1 should be 0.01uf to 0.1uf ceramic depending on Hall-effect used. In the setup below the coil will fire after the magnet passes the Hall-effect or when the LED turns off. No dwell control or limiting resistors are needed because the coil handles all that. Just add a Hall-effect, 12 volt supply, and a LS1 smart coil. You don't have to use the 2N4403 (PNP), you can use something similar. I used it because I had them.

Simplist Sparky Smart Coil BOM.png


Simplist Sparky Smart Coil Board Schematic.png
Smart Coil Driver 2.jpg
Smart Coil Driver.jpg
Simplist Sparky Smart Coil Board.png


Simplist Sparky Smart Coil Board backside.png


I included a pdf below that can be used to turn a CD disk into a timing wheel. I have others to share with timing events. If there is enough interest I'll get extra boards made. Oh I also cleaned up the board design a bit, things like better pours and changed Q1 to a wide T092 pad.

Cheers
Ray
 

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bluejets

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Ray,
If you check Allegro site on their hall effects, they always recommend a 0.1uF on the supply line AND close as possible to the device.
I usually mount it right on the base of the hall effect legs.
 

dsage

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Here you go. It's a 4x scale model of a champion 3x. They would be found in the ford model a among many other engines from the 20's and 30's.

Ah Yes. I remember it well from NAMES.
Thanks.
I'll be looking for that kind of performance from 74Sprints circuit.
BTW. What's the gap.
Thanks
 

stevehuckss396

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I think the gap was 5/8 or 3/4. Dont remember exactly. Now I run a 1/4 inch gap.


Hello Sprint

Simple is great. My biggest concern is sparks per minute. I build multi-cylinder engines many with 8 or more cylinders. Also dont need super high energy as my plugs are gapped at .012 to .015 so can get the spark thru the tiny distributor and to the plug.
 

dsage

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The simplest ignition I can come up with besides points.
because I had them.
Ray. I'm not sure how "Smart" your smart coil is and also you say you have controlled dwell BUT. What happens when the engine stops with the points closed or the hall activated?
It seems this circuit still puts the coil in jeopardy (energized continuously) if the engine stops in the right position. Maybe I missed something.
 
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dsage

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Simple is great. My biggest concern is sparks per minute. I build multi-cylinder engines many with 8 or more cylinders. Also dont need super high energy as my plugs are gapped at .012 to .015 so can get the spark thru the tiny distributor and to the plug.
Steve:
Do you still have my coil driver I gave you?
It'll be your best bet so far.
 

74Sprint

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Ray,
If you check Allegro site on their hall effects, they always recommend a 0.1uF on the supply line AND close as possible to the device.
I usually mount it right on the base of the hall effect legs.
I saw that and I've also seen where they want 2 caps, it's just the standard decoupling thing.

I'll be looking for that kind of performance from 74Sprints circuit.
I won't be doing anything like that here. I haven't made a Tesla coil in years since I was a teenager.

Hello Sprint

Simple is great. My biggest concern is sparks per minute. I build multi-cylinder engines many with 8 or more cylinders. Also dont need super high energy as my plugs are gapped at .012 to .015 so can get the spark thru the tiny distributor and to the plug.
I understand that "sparks per minute", for me it's sparks per second of at least 333.33 or 10,000 V8 RPM on 1 coil. The amount of spark required varies by the fuel and compression. Here on this forum those requirements are low. In my world those requirements go from 8Kv to 65Kv and spark energies from 60mjoules to 800mjoules. Fuels from regular pump gas, alcohol, alcohol/nitro(50/50), to 118 octane race gas and compression ratios of 4.5:1 to 17:1 naturally asperated to 16:1 supercharged gas engines running 80 lbs. of boost. There is also my little .40 Webra engines I want to convert.

What I'm presenting here is just alternatives so use them or don't, that's up to the individual and it doesn't really matter to me either way. No one on this forum needs a 56 amp racing ignition with a 15 minute run time before overheating. I've never seen anyone on here use a 44 amp MSD magneto and I never will. There's what 4 or 5 people on here selling ignitions of their flavour and then users want as small as possible to the least amount of power to as low of cost as possible. I've read pretty much all the threads pertaining to ignitions on here so I am informed. Back on the RC Group build us 'the designers' got tired of people wanting all kinds of things but not help out which led to the project dyeing. There's no way I'm going to get rich selling little ignitions here, I'll find that in automotive racing and industrial electronic segments. From what I've seen on this forum the electronics here is pretty simple, like stuff from the 60's, no where near like what's on the RC forums. Besides Steve why should I buy your sparkplugs when there are others making them? Well I'll buy from you when I need them because you are on this forum and you're a small time seller and I try to support small time sellers. I'm on this forum because I like reading about the builds and one day when I have room I'll start making model engines but, for now I have to stick to small pre-machined 2 & 4 strokes and automotive engines. I'm on a journey.

Cheers
Ray
 

stevehuckss396

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Well keep on trucking Ray. I like following your work even though i only understand about 20% of it.
 

dsage

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Ray:
That is not the output from a Tesla coil. It's a seriously wicked spark (as Steve indicated) perhaps 5/8" long. Have another look at the video.
My challenge stands. SHOW us a similar output from one of your circuits.
The only reason the module Steve has employed in his big spark plug cannot be used in a car ignition system is that it is an epoxy encapsulated device that self generates sparks at a fixed rate. Also it will only run for several seconds before it self destructs. If it could be controlled it would produce way more ignition spark than anyone needs.
 

74Sprint

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Ray. I'm not sure how "Smart" your smart coil is and also you say you have controlled dwell BUT. What happens when the engine stops with the points closed or the hall activated?
It seems this circuit still puts the coil in jeopardy (energized continuously) if the engine stops in the right position. Maybe I missed something.
For starters I didn't term the phrase "smart coil" the automotive community did. On this coil just like the original GM HEI 4 pin module it starts charging on a positive going pulse and then discharges as soon as the pulse goes towards negative.
Nothing happens because it needs to see a positive going pulse not a level one. They call it a smart coil because the driver circuit is built into it. You only need battery positive, negative and a 5v-12v positive fire/signal pulse.
Well keep on trucking Ray. I like following your work even though i only understand about 20% of it.
 

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